Israel and the Southern De-escalation Zone: A Closer Look at the Israeli-Syrian Border

In mid-June, Syrian and pro-regime forces began what they see as a decisive (and long overdue) campaign in southern Syria aimed at eliminating the rebel resistance within the southern “de-escalation” zone along the Israeli and Jordanian borders. The military campaign involved substantial Syria government forces advised and assisted by Russian military and air force personnel.

The regime and its allies have demonstrated superior military power, which has already “convinced” over 30 towns to return to regime control. Some rebel-controlled cities – Busra al-Sham, the surrounding villages to its south, and al-Jieza – agreed to comply with “reconciliation agreements,” requiring the surrender of arms and removal of key rebel leaders. In contrast to previous agreements, large scale evacuations of the area are to be avoided. However, rebels who contest the deal will be evacuated to the rebel stronghold around Idlib in northeastern Syria, which remains under Turkish supervision. Following the regime and its allies’ conquest of the majority of the northeastern part of the former “reconciliation zone” in Derʿa Province, talks will focus on the remaining rebel territory in Derʿa’s western countryside and the southern half of the city. In the meantime, according to UN estimates, the battles have pushed more than 320,000 people out of their homes, mainly towards the Israeli and Jordanian borders.[1] View full post…

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New Blue Review – Interview on Syria and beyond

 

In the first episode of the New Blue Review we talk to Prof Nir Boms of the Dayan Centre at the University of Tel Aviv. We look at the subject of Syria and what is happening with the war there. Topics covered include, Russia, President Donald Trump, Iran, Hezbollah, Jordan and Palestinian. It also looks at new humanitarian aid initiatives coming out of Israel.

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How Israelis Are Aiding Syrian Refugees and Iraqi Yazidis

Happy to enclose a recent opportunity to share some of my recent  work  on the Syrian  and Kurdish issues at Voice of Israel Radio.

You will find original  audio file link here 

VOI’s Daniel Seaman and Daniela Traub are joined in-studio by Dr. Nir Boms, an expert on Syria, Iraq and Kurdistan at the Dayan Center of  Tel Aviv University. He reveals details of a major, unreported effort undertaken by Israeli citizens, providing 4,000 tons of humanitarian aid to the displaced persons’ camps in Syria and to the Yazidi in Iraq.

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Israelis helping Syrian refugees: Balancing aid and diplomacy

In helping Syrian refugees in Jordan, Israelis are hoping to create new bonds

 

Mafraq is a single-story city in the desert flats of northern Jordan, built in beige and white, spiked with mosques and dotted with chalky vacant lots that suffice as soccer courts. The pores and meridians of Mafraq’s streets are clogged with bits of trash — snack baggies, mini coffee cups, old shoes, soda bottles, all kinds of plastic — that cling together in odd, twisty shapes, little trash monsters soggy with winter’s first rain.

This city of around 60,000, among Jordan’s most impoverished, has doubled in size over the past year: Mafraq is now half Jordanian, half Syrian. As the closest city to the Nasib-Jaber border crossing between Jordan and Syria, it has become a refuge for a tidal wave of people fleeing the civil war in Syria, the No. 1 absorber of refugees (per capita) in a nation that has absorbed almost a million — driving up the price of food and water and overcrowding the local housing market.“All the people in the streets are Syrian,” said Ali Shdaifat, head of the Jordan National Red Crescent Society branch in Mafraq. He said he has seen as many as 40 refugees stuffed into a two-bedroom apartment. Rent for one such apartment has gone from about $150 to $300 per month due to refugee demand, said Mohammad al-Khaldi, another local aid organizer. View full post…

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